BY SHARON AUSTIN
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has urged Barbadians to prepare for Tropical Storm Gonzalo, which is expected to affect the country early on Saturday.
Ms. Mottley made the comments on Wednesday evening when she addressed the nation, at Ilaro Court, where she announced changes to her Cabinet.
Gonzalo is expected to become a hurricane within the next few hours and Barbados is currently under a Hurricane Watch, which means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.
“I’m happy that the Ministry of Public Works and other Ministries spent the day [yesterday] literally doing the assessments and making adjustments such that when we meet with them tomorrow morning [today], we will be in a position to take any further decisions that have to be done.
“But in every house, we know what – be prepared rather than be sorry. And I ask you, therefore, without panic, to be able to ensure that you are ready for this storm,” the Prime Minister urged.
She gave the assurance that needed changes would continue to be made as situations and circumstances warranted, to ensure Barbados thrives.
The Prime Minister told the country her recent changes to Cabinet were the first in a series of measures to reposition and ready Barbados for the challenges of the new reality.
“It is not business as usual. We may not always get it right, but we will certainly never flinch in our quest for excellence and our resolve to ease the strain on Barbadians from all walks of life. I want you to know and to understand that I feel the pain of Barbadians at all levels …. I’m in touch with Barbadians on a daily basis, and I know the challenges.
“I know the needs in water, housing, small business development, and the stresses, very often still, in doing and transacting business in this country.
“But it doesn’t change overnight. I know your frustrations in interacting with the public service sometimes to be able to access services. But I want to assure you that change is coming and that we will continue to work 24/7 to dispense a better level of service,” the Prime Minister said.
She noted that there were already some improvements, and highlighted the dispensing of the Police Certificate of Character as an example, where persons could now receive the document in a very short timeframe.